What's the relevance of Eevee?


(sologix) #1

I’ve been watching a couple of video’s showing the capabilities of Eevee, and it looks amazing. But I keep wondering, what’s the relevance of it?

I mean, Eevee is not a real-time version of Cycles, it’s an entirely new render engine. The problem with a new render engine is that all materials and such have to be rewritten for it, which makes it less useful. Compare for example the workflow of Cycles with Blender Internal, they both differ quite a lot and the settings are largely incompatible.

Will Evee replace Blender Internal (which is my guess) or will it become a real-time version of Cycles (which sounds incredible, but also inconceivable with today’s technology)?


(SterlingRoth) #2

A couple notes:

A lot of people are using blender to produce content for modern games. Eevee allows the viewport in blender to more closely match the final output in whatever game engine they are using. Having a real time view of your model, as it will look in the final project is invaluable for content creators.

Also, the way that Eevee’s shaders work is much more compatible with Cycles. Though there will definitely be some tweaking to get everything working, the process of transitioning from Cycles to Eevee shaders is fairly painless, and can still leave the Cycles shaders intact. Converting BI materials to Cycles required rebuilding them from the ground up, which took a lot of time. Eevee should be much quicker to transition and adjust to.

Being able to keep both Cycles and Eevee shaders intact makes it easy to use either Eevee or Cycles side by side. As someone who works in previsualization, I know how heartbreaking it is to hear that the client has changed a major feature of the project, and I am already 8 hours deep into rendering the final frames. Having a real-time engine to fall back on to produce high-quality frames almost instantaneously is invaluable.

For animation production, being able to have high-quality playblasts of a test animation is a total plus. Motion graphic artists also benefit greatly, as would a lot of product designers. Interior architecture my rely on the subtle light transfer of a high quality path tracer like cycles for final beauty shots, but having quick previews, or walk through animations that don’t take weeks to render, are totally valuable.

From what I can see, it’s got a lot of positive features that surpass anything BI has to offer, other than legacy support (But I have heard they have some plans for automatic BI + Cycles material conversion on the roadmap). BI is the chopping block for 2.8. I certainly wouldn’t say that Eevee is a replacement for it, it certainly fills a lot of the same needs, and surpasses it in a lot of other ways. Much like I wouldn’t call Eevee a real-time cycles,

From what I can see, it’s got a lot of positive features that surpass anything BI has to offer, other than legacy support (But I have heard they have some plans for automatic BI + Cycles material conversion on the roadmap). BI is the chopping block for 2.8. I certainly wouldn’t say that Eevee is a replacement for it, it certainly fills a lot of the same needs, and surpasses it in a lot of other ways. Much like I wouldn’t call Eevee a real-time Cycles, but it certainly can provide a supporting role and a high quality viewport to assist artists that are using cycles as their engine of choice.

I think it will benefit most blender users once they get used to it. I’ve already been very impressed by its capabilities.


(Lsscpp) #3

Yes, it should eventually replace BI.
And the rough plan is that Cycles materials will be managed by Eevee which will become the “Material” view for Cycles.
So you will have a very similar result in realtime viewport of the final Cycles shader. (Assuming a PBR workflow i guess)


(Jimmy Haze) #4

If Eevee replaces BI, does this mean that in the future we can use Blenders procedural noise textures and texture nodes in Eevee, and convert those to Cycles materials/textures?


(Tea_Monster) #5

Everyone is talking about games, which is wonderful, but Eevee will also allow very realistic real-time animation for films.

I don’t know if it’s possible to ramp-up the quality and loose the real-time and have a hyper-realistic looking film with 1-2 second per frame animation times. That would be a real boon to movie makers.

Imagine that you had Source Filmmaker, and instead of your animation looking like Team Fortress 2 or Left 4 Dead, it looks like Doom 2016 on steroids. That’s what we want!


(Pitiwazou) #6

Illuminate a scene in real time, no need to launch cycles to see areas reflexions, direct result of shaders, Dof etc.
Cycles will be used only for the final render, no need to launch it before that, this is a real game changer I think.
and if the quality is there, a lot of people will use the real time renderer directly, why use cycles for that if it’s in real time and you have a great result.

Seriously, that will be awesome !


(Geographic) #7

But that does depend upon other engines… so then why not use them ?

Or is blender going to re-do the game engine, build it from scratch to get rid of all license related problems?.
I was thinking it would be a new game engine.
And wondered if Blender has enough developers behind it to compete against other such engines.


(Dantus) #8

It simplifies the creation of content for other game engines tremendously.


(Sackadoo) #9

So, you guys are saying Eevee can be used for final renders? I don’t remember seeing/hearing/reading anything about that in any of the progress/promo materials (which made me question all the hoopla, frankly).

With this new tidbit of info, here’s what I understand to be the significant features of Eevee:

  • real-time rendered materials/lighting in the Viewport,
  • real-time (or near-real-time) rendering to image/animation files, and
  • automatic (or at least easy) conversion of BI and Cycles materials.

Is this right? Have I missed any major feature(s)?

I wasn’t all that excited about Eevee before because it really wasn’t obvious that it was a full-blown renderer. Yeah, I know. Everybody else jumped to that conclusion.

But if this is the case, BI materials converted/interpreted automatically and a full-bore renderer for animation, Eevee is now a game-changer (no pun intended) for my future plans.

Of course, if I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion, please let me know.


(Dantus) #10

As far as I know, the current material conversion isn’t too advanced yet, but they are working on it.

Another advantage is that animators are able to animate with the final look and feel, even if the movie is going to be rendered in Cycles. That is particularly useful for the Blender Animation Studio.

Eevee has a lot of potential, but how it is going to be used in practice is unknown at this point.


(Joel_nl) #11

I was under the impression that Cycles materials would be automaticly converted to Eevee materials, and vice-versa.

From Eevee to Cycles sounds the most straight forward since it could perhaps use the Principled shader to replace the Eevee uber shader.


(Safetyman) #12

When Blender first introduced Cycles:

“Is Cycles going to replace BI? What’s the point? The problem with a new render engine is that all our materials will have to be re-written for it. Why not just use (fill in the blank external renderer)”

Hmmm… I seem to recall those types of questions. Change is good. Embrace the change. It’s another powerful tool in our arsenal and to me it looks amazing. Can’t wait to start playing with it.


(Sackadoo) #13

They’ve been trying to oust BI for a while. Why? I’m not sure; I like the look I get with it. But, I’ve been learning Cycles just to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak.

From what I’ve read, the BI code is so entwined into the general code base that it would be near impossible to get rid of it without rewriting Blender from the ground up. Otherwise, from what the developers have said, it would have been pulled out and set up as an addon like Cycles is. It would be great if they’d do that, but I doubt it’ll happen, what with BI being 25-year-old scan-line technology. (sigh)


(zeauro) #14

No, Eevee is using Cycles nodes.
So, procedural textures in Eevee are Cycles ones.

I don’t know if having a way to convert Blender’s procedural texture to Cycles ones will be done.
I don’t know if texture nodes that can be useful for brush textures will be kept.
I think these are still open questions.

But that does depend upon other engines… so then why not use them ?

Because they are numerous and have their own shading system.
Here, the idea is just to have a viewport powerful enough to be able to make and check your UVs and textures corresponding to PBR standards.
So, the basis of what comes from Blender is extended but engine’s extra-shading features are still its specificity.


(Ace Dragon) #15

I think theoretically, Eevee can be utilized to make Cycles far faster by acting as a sort of ‘virtual flash’ image to dramatically increase the quality produced by the new denoiser (so you get a butter smooth pathtraced image with even less samples than what is needed now). This would be added on top of the existing feature passes.

Unlike such methods being tested now, the Eevee-based virtual flash could even include reflection and refraction effects (which would allow for good results in just about every case).


(tjindy) #16

Yep, i`m count on it that way. For now, too much time i spend on test rendering. It could be a great speedup for workflow :slight_smile:


(tjindy) #17

Well, for first ime i saw eevee i thought the same. Eevee can help reduce noise in a simple word. It is great oportunity to support devs saying: very good job ! :slight_smile:

So, we are waitin for 2 point 8 blender version.


(Youssef Charles (يوسف تشرلز)) #18

Look at how big the whole UE4 Archviz scene is

Look at how useful Marmoset toolbag is

and add in the fact that not everyone has the patience to wait 3 hours just to see whether or not their render of their character they worked on for weeks, looks good, only to have to rerender or deal with the problems because you don’t want to wait another 3 hours.

Eevee could be a nice alternative

not everyone needs super high quality path tracing and GI to render out their PBR game prop.


(Jimmy Haze) #19

@zeauro: thanks for your answer.

BI textures are used in many places in Blender, not only for brushes.
There are at least 6 modifiers that use textures,
particles use texture for distribution, we have texture forcefield,
i am sure there is more use of Blender textures.
Also BI procedurals are superior to Cycles proc. textures
i bake them all the time…

not everyone needs super high quality path tracing and GI to render out their PBR game prop.

Not everyone is making game assets…


(Indy_logic) #20

I think I just have some kind of issue seeing what you guys are seeing. To me, it just looks like a game engine. I get the part about needing a real-time preview engine for game asset production. That part of Eevee makes total sense. But really, it’s just looks like a game engine. I guess that’s just what you guys like now a days?

But when I see people talking about using Eevee for rendering final frames (or even UE4 or Unity), I’m just totally baffled. I start wondering if maybe I’m becoming like those guys who were bothered by MP3 because they could hear the difference in sound quality but no one else seemed to care.

I started working in CG in 93. Back then, CG looked like CG. The two main issues for me were shadow maps (buffer shadows) and diffuse only lighting. It was totally un-appealing. Everyone used to talk about render man being the pinnacle of rendering beauty but to me, it just looked like CG. When GI and Area shadows came along, it made such a huge difference. Back then there were tons of people who used to argue against GI. Saying "Not everyone needed to use it and that the difference it quality was barely noticeable. I used to sit there reading this and thinking, is to me? Am I somehow missing something?

Now, real-time AO, PBR shading, per pixel shading and Image based lighting are definitely making game engines look better but to my eyes, it’s nowhere near the quality of a path tracer. To make matters worse, as game engines look better and better, so too do path tracers get faster and faster.

But I think what I find most disturbing is that so many of you guys totally disagree with me! That, I just can not understand. To my eyes there is a very tangible difference between the output of Eevee (or UE4 or any other game engine for that matter) and what comes out of Cycles or Arnold or Vray.

I’m I crazy for thinking this?! What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I see what you guys are so excited about?!